Thursday, August 08, 2013

Sarah Mae's Mom's Unwired Challenge

Sarah Mae of is hosting a Mom's Unwired 14-day challenge.  Today, August 8, marks day 1.  I purchased her e-book to further encourage me.  God is really working on my heart about a lot of things and this is one of them.  So, her challenge came along at a good time and I'm hopping onboard.  Will you join me?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Long time, no see...

I haven't kept up with blogging for a few months.  I feel God prompting me to get back to it.  I think it helps me deal with stress and it helps me to get my feelings out.  It also helps me to remember what my children are up to and helps me to see where we've made progress or gone backwards.  So, I think I'm back and will definitely try to post on a regular basis.

An update on the last year...I'll try to do the short version...but this still may wind up long.

Marriage is still going strong.  Trying to work on going on a date once a month.  We do better for awhile and then have to remind ourselves again.  Andy took me to see Wicked this year.  AWESOME!!  We also went to see the Dallas Symphony.  It was a lot of fun.  Those are the biggest dates that we've been on.  I'm hoping to get away for our 15th wedding anniversary for a night.  We could use a night away, I just don't know how feasible it's going to be.  However, I'm going to ask God and pray for a way to go.

Deidra did pretty well in her first year of junior high.  She ran into a problem with one of her teachers and was constantly getting detention from her.  From some of the contact that I had with the teacher, I didn't know if this teacher really relates to children that are her age.  I gave the teacher my support as I didn't want to send the wrong message to Deidra.  I told her that there will always be people that you don't get along with, but she still had to respect her and follow her rules.  Finally, by the end of the school year, I got sick and tired of some of the stuff going on.  Deidra said that she was darned if she did and darned if she didn't and I could see her point.  There comes a time when your children need to know that they have their parents support, so we called a conference.  She had been getting bullied and they let that slide, but they were giving her detention for far less stuff and I was just tired of it.  I let the teacher know that out of Deidra's 7 teachers that she was the only one that she was having an issue with.  Her teacher apparently didn't believe me as when we went to the conference, she let me know that I was indeed right as she had emailed her other teachers and they all reported that she was a joy to have in their class.  I told her that from the very beginning, I wondered what was going on as nobody had ever had a discipline problem or behavior problem out of Deidra.  Sure, she'd get in trouble every once in awhile for talking out of turn, but she had never gotten detention or ISS until this teacher started handing them out to her all the time.  Once we had the conference and we all got our feelings on the issue out, things settled down.  I'm secretly hoping that she doesn't get this teacher again though.  She did her intro to theater class and really liked it.  She also did pre-athletics and they want her to run track as well as do volleyball.

Josiah started out ok in first grade.  He's a strong reader and was getting all As and Bs.  Then, around Christmas his behavior started going down hill.  His teacher thought we changed his meds, however I told ehr that we didn't.  It's about the same time that he started giving his kindergarten teacher a hard time too.  In counseling, we talked about how he's going to do this with people the more familiar he gets with the relationship.  So, I guess I'll know for when he starts 2nd grade.  We also got him tested for special ed on the recommendation of our attachment therapist and our neurofeedback dr.  Right before 1st grade let out, we had an ARD meeting and the school psychologist diagnosed him with depression.  That isn't something I see him with at all...nor do his therapists that we have outside of school.  However, our counselor told us that she used to be a school psychologist and if he's presenting with a sad face and a depressed act to get attention all through the time that she did his testing that is probably why they came to that diagnosis.  They have the paperwork stating that our therapists have him currently diagnosed with RAD, ADHD, and PTSD.  So, at least they are aware.  They're going to keep him in mainstream classes, but he'll be given access to the content mastery room and if he escalates in there at all he'll be given to someone in administration until he calms down.  He ended the year with all As and Bs and I was proud of him.  Now, if only we can get his behavior to catch up.  In June, our neurofeedback dr said that we weren't getting what we needed from him and that although he's made small changes, he wasn't showing the benefits of a child who had been in therapy for almost a year and he thought that something was inhibiting his therapy that only he had control over.  That really threw me for a loop and I didn't know what to do.  A couple of weeks later, we wound up at the psych hospital on the recommendation of our attachment therapist.  He had snuck out of his room in the middle of the night and got into the matches and hid the burnt matches in between his mattresses.  He was also getting really hard to handle.  The hospital didn't keep him, but they offered us day treatment as an option.  We didn't wind up doing it as it was only supposed to be for a couple of weeks and his honeymoon phase is about that long.  I didn't want to go through the hassle of taking him that far every day and I didn't really think it was fair to the girls either as we wouldn't have been able to do anything.  They also wanted us to do family therapy and Andy wasn't sure how that would play out with him having to leave work that early when he already misses work when they have psych appts and attachment therapy.  They did say that we could enroll him at anytime though, so if we run into more problems, we may have to put him in there.  Oddly enough, a few days later he came out of a huge angry phase and slid into happy, giggly, giddy behavior.  I'd much rather deal with a happy kid over an angry child.  He still has poor impulse control when he's happy or sad as he tends to go over the top, but still...I would rather deal with happy boy over angry boy.  So, he's been a bit more manageable.  We also started having him go to after-school care in April as he was taking his anger out on the girls on the way home from school.  He had gotten suspended from being able to ride the bus due to safety reasons, so in order for our girls to stay safe on the way home, we figured we would try after school care.  Our attachment therapist thought he needed to go into residential treatment, but we wanted to try this way first.  He's gotten sent home a couple of times for really bad behavior...trying to run away and jumping the fence because he didn't want to listen to the teacher and do his time out, threatening to kill someone that didn't want to play with him anymore...however, he's been much easier to get out of his tantrums since we entered the happy, giddy phase.  I can't help but wonder if he's not bi-polar.  I guess time will tell.  We saw some new behaviors emerge when the happy, giddy phase started as well.  So, who knows?

Emma had a good year in 2nd grade.  We had her tested for dyslexia.  She has 2/3 characteristics, so they say that she doesn't have it.  She is really struggling with her reading math, and writing though.  I think there's definitely some sort of learning disorder going on.  It takes her a long time to catch on.  Since they let the kids redo work and will change their grades to a 70, she managed to pass.  3rd grade will prove to be a challenge I'm sure though as she has to pass the STAAR test that she'll take for the first time in 3rd grade.  She has a hard time with timed testing.  She tries hard though.  That's all I keep telling her is that she just needs to give it her best.  She got an award for being the kindest student in her class at the end of the year.  Makes a Momma proud.

Tracie had a good year in kindergarten.  She was at reading level 1/2 way through the end of the year.  I'm not sure that I'm totally on board with that, as they said that about Emma as well, but I see some of the same issues that Emma had when Tracie reads to me.  However, we'll have to see how 1st grade goes.  She really liked her teacher and she made friends easily.  She was the leader at her table for sure.  She was always trying to keep them on task.  lol

Melina went to Bible Study Fellowship with me.   We did the study of Genesis.  She loved going.  Her teachers loved her.  And it was so neat to hear her tell me about what she learned every week.  She even relates when it rains to Noah and the big boat.  She also told me about the rainbow.  When I'd ask her who made the moon or the stars or flowers or something that we'd see she'd tell me "God did!"  I ask her now who loves her SO much and she says "God does!"  Pretty good for only being 2 1/2.  Well, she turned 3 at the end of April, but I thought she did amazing and it's so nice to see her little heart for God that she has.  Her teachers always told me how sweet and helpful she was during class as well.  She is my little helper girl for sure!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Giving it ALL to You...

Lord, so much is weighing on me lately.  I went to a retreat at the end of September and came back with a changed mindset.  Listening to those mamas talk and listening to their stories and hearing tidbits that sounded like my own children in the middle of it spoke to me.  One mama said her therapist told her "when you start running your house like an institution, it's time for that child to be IN the institution."  It resonated with me...I cried over it to that mama the next morning...but I realized the truth.  It's ok, if they need to get help somewhere else...I came home with that in my mind.  I shared it with my husband and I also had a big heart-to-heart with my son about it.

I prayed for each and every one of my children, and God gave me each and every one of my children.  I am so thankful for the gift of being Mom and I can only hope and pray that one day each and every one of my children will have a healthy attachment to me and Andy and truly want to be a part of our family.  I want that SO badly.  It's eating me up inside with what we're dealing with and not knowing how to cope with it all.  Josiah comes off that bus and is a ball of anger from the minute he walks into the door until the time he goes to bed.   My head and heart hurt from listening to him squeel because he's not getting his way.  He thinks he is the one in control all of the time...when he's told to do something and he plain and simply doesn't want to...we have a battle of the wills and he rages.  Lord, take the angerness out of this precious little boy.  Heal his hurts and his heart and let him accept our love.

The holidays are heart doesn't want to deal with it all.  We have company coming in...I don't want to deal with making dinner for everyone, having to push our schedule back and dealing with the effects of that on the kids for dinner, dealing with triggers for having extra people in our house.  The holidays are triggers in of itself for our family.  I'm trying not to be selfish and whatnot, I just wonder sometimes "what are you preparing us for?"  What is in our future?  We find ourselves in the role of being the center of our's something I've always wanted...I just didn't think we'd be in this role until we were grandparents.  I didn't expect that we'd be taking care of our children, parents at times, and siblings at times.  I didn't expect our house to have a revolving front door on it...I struggle with wanting down time with just my husband and having him all to myself...I struggle with feeling lonely...I struggle with not knowing what next step to take with my kids...plain and simply I'm struggling and I feel the weight of things on my shoulders.

I just want all of my kids to be healthy in body, mind, and spirit.  I wish sometimes that we would be asked to do things, instead of "hey, we're coming in and we'll be at your house for thanksgiving" and then "hey, so and so want to see people so they're coming to your house for turkey dinner too."  I wanted to do the holidays low key this we're in this different place and I'm trying to find it within me to do it all...I just don't want my kids to be triggered even more than what the holidays normally bring.  I don't want judgment from people who have chosen not to have kids and have NO clue about what we're dealing with and trying to cope with.  I don't want more drama and I'm scared of it.

I'm struggling with how the kids are behaving at home and struggling in school...I want to help them the best way possible...yet it bothers me that they don't seem to care about how they behave or that they're struggling.  The amount of things around here that are getting broken bothers me.  I realize that they're just material possessions...but it all adds up and I want them to start respecting their things and appreciating what they have.  I want them to care about learning and about doing things the right way...developing morals and a conscience.

I want the kids to start caring how they behave and realizing that they don't have to do every little thing that comes into their brain...that they have a free will and can choose to follow Your commandments and our rules.

I want SO much for them, but most of all I really want them to know You and want to do Your will for their life.  And I want SO badly for all of my kids to have a great relationship with Andy and I and to care about the sibling bonds with each other.  I want a close-knit family that is centered around You, Lord.

I don't want to have to send my kids away to get help...I want to keep them here at home and I want them to want to stay at home.  Please help me to do that.  Help me to break down the barriers and to help them heal.

Also, I pray for my health...please help me get my diabetes back in my knee to continue to heal...give me daily time with You to pray for my family and for my spiritual needs.  Help me with my weight loss.  Help me be thin and healthy again and give me will-power to stick with it.  Amen

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Monday, October 01, 2012

Blessings of my Children Day 1

This is my youngest little one, Melina.  She's 2 and just has this wonderful helping spirit about her.  She loves to help and alot of times does it without even having to be asked.  I pray that she will always have that helpful little spirit and always want to help those around her.  Thank you, Abba, for this precious little helper girl of mine.

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31 Days of Blessings of My Children

I'm going to write here each day through the month of October on the blessings that my children bring to me and I'm going to try to include a picture each day as well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cupcake Cones

The cake recipe I used is gluten and sugar free and turned out really moist and good.

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup stevia
1/2 teaspoon flour
2 tsp baking soda
5 tsp grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup water

We mixed it all up and filled an ice cream cone 1/2 full and put them in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.  We took them out and frosted them with frosting.

The frosting I used wasn't sugar-free as I was out of Stevia.
1 cup shortening
1 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp milk
1 cup cocoa powder
4 cup powdered sugar

I let the kids pick sprinkles, colored sugar, or cereal to top their cones with once the frosting was on.  They enjoyed them!


Sometimes it really hurts...

that Josiah tries so hard to keep me at bay.  When they are throwing fits or having to go to time out and he's dysregulated, I've tried to just go sit with him.  If he continues to kick the cabinets and so forth, I put him on my lap.  He will scream to no end that I'm hurting him.  If he pinches or hits me then I hold his hands.  If he tries to head butt me, I just hold his head against my chest.  I'm not hurting him by any means and we can talk about it afterwards once he's calm and he will admit that I'm not hurting him.  He just says that he doesn't want to have to sit in time out.  It bothers me so much that anytime I try to touch him when he's mad he will continue to scream that I'm hurting him.  I have to take it for what it is "he's just trying to get out of doing his consequences in time out for his actions" and that "it's not personal."  I just wish that he'd accept my help and that I'm just trying to keep him safe, myself safe, and things from getting broken and I'm hoping that by being present and calm that I'm helping him to regulate.  I just want him to let me in.  I want him to accept the love that I'm just trying to give him.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Look who lost her first tooth today!

She's happy about the tooth fairy coming tonight!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Josiah and Therapy

We had attachment therapy last week Thursday.  We talked with her about what we've been going through with Josiah.  He's really been out-of-control lately with agression, constantly wanting control and when something doesn't go his way we're having to deal with an all out tantrum.  I've video taped some of them just to document what he's been doing in case we have to take him to Children's.  She wound up telling us that she thinks it's nearing the time to put him in a placement to further drive home that there's consequences for his actions.  That was really hard for me to hear.  I'm fighting it as I don't want it to come to the fact that he may have to go out of state for a year or longer.  He's my little boy and I want to keep him home with us. Andy told her that we had been thinking about hiring in some extra hands.  She thinks that if we're going to try to keep him in the home that would be a smart idea so that everyone is supervised and get some attention that they need.  She brought Josiah in and talked to him about his behavior and told him that if he didn't shape up that we were going to not have a choice, but to put him with another family to get him the help that he needs for awhile.  He didn't like that.  She asked him who Daddy's favorite person was and he pointed to himself.  She told him "no, who has Daddy been with the longest?"  He again pointed to himself.  She told him that Mommy and Daddy started a family together long before any of our children were around.  He didn't like that at all and you could see how angry he was becoming.  She told him that he was being mean to Daddy's favorite person who he loved very much and that didn't make Daddy happy.  She finally asked him what was making him so angry and he didn't say anything.  Her and I both were on the same page though...he was mad that it wasn't all about him...he wasn't center-stage.  That's always a trigger for him.  She could see that he was about ready to lash out and start punching someone so she wanted Andy to drive him home separately and have a talk about how Mommy was the love of his life and that he needed to be good to me and that if his behavior didn't change that he was going to have to be put somewhere else to get him help.  She told me that if we were going to try to keep him in our home, that I needed to step up the paper trail and she told me that when he does "x, y, and z" that I needed to take him up to Children's to see the psych dept.  I was having a really hard time wrapping my mind around everything and was really dealing with alot of emotions.

Friday, the morning started out really rough...he was getting upset over really little things and he was banging and kicking everything and just trying to be destructive.  He picked out clothes and then refused to put them on, trying to get out of taking his meds, banging the furniture into the walls.  He finally refused to put his new clothes on and so I told him that he couldn't do that in front of his sisters and he was going to have to go to his room until he wanted to make the right choice.  He wound up peeing in his pull-up and then ripping the pull-up off and throwing the fluff all over his floor.  Once he saw that he was going to have to clean up his mess, thankfully he did it.  After that, he decided to pull it together for the rest of the day.  He tried to be helpful and he had a willingness to do what was asked of him. after lunch he came up to me and started to cry and told me that he was sorry for doing all sorts of bad stuff.  He sat on my lap and rested his head on my chest and let me soothe him and hold him and love on him.  He hasn't let me do that stuff in years.  I held him and he fell asleep on my chest and we just stayed that way.  I cried and prayed and thanked God for giving me those moments with him.  I spent the rest of that day just cuddling and loving on my kids and trying to process my emotions.  I knew one thing for sure though...I feel God telling me to keep Josiah here with us.  I felt God telling me to hang in there and that He is working in our lives.

Saturday, we went to see the dr. for neurofeedback therapy.  He said that he could see that things were triggering Josiah every few minutes, but that he was trying his best to hang in there.  After he did 8 reps, he told me that he wanted ice cream for his treat.  I told him that it was just morning and we didn't get ice cream for treats in the morning, but we could go to the restaurant that he picked and get breakfast on the way home.  The dr honestly thought we were going to deal with a major meltdown.  Instead, Josiah, let out a big growl and sigh and he pressed forward.  Wow!  I told him that I think it scared him when we had the talk with him about having to go somewhere if his behavior didn't change.  We talked about a lot of things and he told me that he knew that was such a big decision to make and the parents struggle with a lot of guilt, but that he was trying to help us with neurofeedback and we added the emotional component to it so that he hopefully could get a handle on better dealing with what was triggering him.  He also told me that he ws surprised that with the dr even sitting beside him in a position of authority that he was still continuing to disobey.  I told him that's him every 5 minutes.  He doesn't like boundaries, rules, told what to do, not being first.  None of that stuff.  He told me "God is with you, God sees, God will help you."  I told him what was concerning the dr with safety for all of us and that I still don't really think that he's doing it all to hurt everyone...sometimes he is, but sometimes he doesn't think it through, he just acts on his anger.  He's never known any fear or his own strength, but I see the drs concerns too and I will act on those as well just so that I make sure all the bases are covered.  I also sent an email to his psychiatrist with his behaviors as well and wanting to make sure that it's not a medication issue that could be causing them.  He did well for the rest of Saturday and Sunday.

Here it is Monday morning, he still is having a lot of anger issues and he's trying to test boundaries.  However, he's not having all out temper tantrums.  He's growling and letting out screams here and there, but he's trying to hold it together.  That's progress and I am so thankful for that.

Lord, thank you for giving us this team of drs to support us as we go through the process of trying to help Josiah.  Thank you for healing Josiah and I know that You will continue to do so with every therapy session that he has.  Amen

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